Day At The Track

Kyle Husted: One of Balmoral's 'Fantastic 7'

12:14 PM 22 Aug 2011 NZST
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Kyle Husted and his friend Amy Narotsky Kyle Husted Kyle Husted Kyle Husted and his training Mum Kyle Husted (front right)
Kyle Husted and his friend Amy Narotsky
Kyle Husted - This year he has saluted the judge 55 times
Kyle Husted - I’m always working on ways to get better drives
Kyle Husted and his training Mum - Pam Coleman
Kyle Husted (front right) - And the 'Fantastic Balmoral Park 7'
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It was a gutsy decision but when Kyle Husted made the choice to shift to from his home town of Altamont to Chicago in January this year it was career move that could have easily back-fired. After-all the 19-year-old's mother Pam Coleman wanted her son to firstly get a degree to fall back on.

But Husted was merely doing what his mother had done before him - follow her parents into harness racing.

“Mum’s a trainer based in Altamont and her grandfather and father – Jerry Coleman – were trainers. In fact Grandad raced Hambletonian horses. I think his best was Carolyn Sue.

“That’s where I got the bug from. I knew when I graduated from Altamont High School a couple of years ago this was all I wanted to do,” Husted said.

Since making the four-hour shift to Chicago Husted has experienced his most successful season in 2011 and has even been included in Balmoral Park’s ‘Fantastic Seven’.

They are Marcus Miller, Ridge Warren, Kyle Wilfgong, Travis Seekman, Tanor Spittler, John DeLong and Husted (see photo).

From 2006-2010 Husted drove just 26 winners in and around Altamont.

This year he has saluted the judge 55 times and won just under $198,400 in purses - not bad for a young man who doesn’t work out of a stable and relies solely on catch-drives to make a living.

“It hasn’t been easy but early on I got noticed driving some of Mum’s horses and it’s developed from there. I drive at Balmoral Park Saturday, Sunday - and Wednesdays and Maywood Park on Thursday and Fridays.

“On a good day I can get up to seven drives at a meeting but usually I average about five,” Husted said.

Husted had his biggest moment on July 13 when the Randy Tuftie 'Fox Valley Ruffian' won the 3yo Hanover Trot at Balmoral Park.

“That’s the highlight of my career to date. She’s the best horse I’ve driven so far. Hopefully there will be some even bigger wins around the corner,” Husted said.

However Best Man Hanover gets the nod as the fastest standardbred Husted has driven.

“He was trained by Perry Smith (Crete) when I drove him. I won on him the day he recorded his quickest mile of 1:51.2,” Husted said.

“he also a very nice 3-year-old.

Husted admitted he didn’t do much outside of harness racing.

“I try and put as many hours as I can into laying a solid good platform in this sport. This is my future and all I’ve got to fall back on. I’m always working on ways to get more and better drives.

“When I do have spare time I like to hang out with my driving mates Marcus Miller and Ridge Warren,” Husted said.

Husted is not married.

By Duane RANGER (editor)

(1) Kyle Husted’s old school – Altamont High performing a drum line.

(2) The Altamont High School Dance team:

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